Installing the Right Window Treatments
December 3, 2018
Windows are an essential part of the home: they allow a view of the surrounding landscape, they allow sunlight into the home, and based on style, they can also be highly decorative. And like with any part of today’s suburban home, many accessories for windows are on the market, and based on budget or need, any American homeowner can find the right window treatments for his or her home for privacy, keeping out hot sunlight (which eases strain on the air conditioner), and even for aesthetic purposes. Window treatments vary, from regular drapes of all colors and lengths to automated window blinds to motorized blinds or screens all the way to automatic screens. Why choose motorized blinds, or automatic screens for windows? These window treatments can do a lot of good once they’re installed, and in some ways, they can even pay for themselves.
Nearly any habitable building will have some windows, so getting window treatments is a possibility for any homeowner today, and that translates into a large, popular industry around the world for window treatments of all kinds. Globally, the market for blinds and shades is growing, and by the year 2022, it may reach an estimated $16.7 billion. Why are they so popular, aside from aesthetic appeal? One major reason is simply that window treatments like motorized window shades or wooden blinds are practical for a home’s energy consumption due to the heating and air conditioning system’s use throughout the day. Sunlight can quickly heat up a room or even the entire home, especially in summer, and this overworks the home’s air conditioner, and that racks up a bigger electric bill. In winter, the reverse is true: a lot of heat can escape the house through its windows, which overworks the heating system. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, overall, windows are responsible for one third of any home’s thermal loss on average, making for awkward temperature shifts for the owners and a padded electric bill thanks to the overworked heating and air conditioning system.
How much money can be saved by using window treatments to block hot sunlight or keep in warm air during the winter? The AERC, the Attachments Energy Rating Council, has determined that having window attachments installed may boost a window’s performance and cut down on up to 13% of a home’s energy use per year, which may translate to a few hundred dollars (exact amounts will vary, naturally). The AERC also stated that if a window has cellular shades installed, it may save anywhere from $280 to $470 each year, and roller shades on a pane can save close to $180 every year. Over time, this can add up to a lot of money due to controlling a room’s temperature better, so any homeowner who experiences cold winters or hot summers would do well to consider getting window treatments.
Installing Motorized Blind and More
An interested homeowner can measure his or her windows, then use this data to buy the right size of window blind or screen setups and have them installed. They may be battery operated or plug right into the home’s own power system, so having an outlet nearby may be important. Often, these blinds can be operated with a remote control to go up or down, or may be on a programmed schedule. Aside from energy savings, these systems can look appealing, such as wooden blinds, and can give privacy so no one can see inside (this may be important for rooms with valuable items inside that burglars would target). Drapes are an alternative that don’t need electricity and are very pleasant to look at, and many colors and styles are available. Some drapes may hang an inch or two from the carpet, while others will have their last few inches folded or crumpled on the floor for a classy look. Homeowners should be aware, though, that drapes are a common fire hazard, so frayed electric cords and open flames such as lit cigarettes or pipes, a fireplace, or candles should be a sufficient distance from any set of drapes. Owners with cats or dogs should be careful that their pets do not shred or climb the drapes.